I finally got inspired to write about medical services in NYC, and I know I’m going to come back to this topic again later, and I’ll tell you why. A lot of my clients ask about medical services in the US, especially in regards to plastic surgery and giving birth. America is famous for plastic surgery and a relaxed attitude towards it, and having a child here has some obvious benefits. When you give birth to a child in the US, it instantly becomes an American, even to Borat parents! What to do with that citizenship is a good question, but I guess the idea of having an “American” in your household can make some english-speaking families really happy.
Anyway, to cut the story short, at 24 weeks into my pregnancy, I had the unfortunate experience of having to check myself into Lenox Hill hospital. Everything is for the better, as my insurance paid for a rehearsal of my scheduled February delivery. Of course, it was a freaking stressful time for me (!) but I am not the type of person that succumbs to stressful circumstances that easily. Yes, I did cry a little the day before, but then I made an agreement with myself that I was just taking a deep tour of the hospital and getting the experience that goes along with it.
When you think of New York, you think “Wow!!” Well, there is no “wow factor” in terms of hospitals in NYC. For some reason, you would expect state of the art facilities, but alas… the facilities are rather basic with an old-school kind of feel. During my 24 hour+ stay, I had numerous conversations with Dominican, African American, and Jewish nurses. All of them were transferred there after the hospital decided to raise their level of care, and acquire the best of the best from around the country. Even the head of the NICU was transferred from my beloved Utah, as I guess a true Manhattaner would have no idea what to do with a baby or 2, or 3, or 20! Especially if it’s severely premature.
All of them said the same thing, that they’d expected more out the facility. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the equipment is up to date, and it works, but when you hear “New York” you expect advancement on every level, but no, everything is very basic. I had a shared room, but fortunately not too many Manhattaners went into a preterm labor that day, so I got to have the room to myself.
It was a dark room with a small window, and a small flat screen hanging too high up on the wall. The device used to monitor contractions on my side of the bed was not working, so I had to move to the other side. That one stopped working at night completely as well, because the outlets were not functioning properly, and thus, the bed didn’t function either in elevating the legs or lowering the head. My catheter was overflown, and the nurses had a hard time emptying it for some reason, and my IV was blocked for long time, which was only figured out 4 hours later. So basically, I recovered without any fluids at all in the recovery room, thanks to my tough Russian roots.
However, the personnel were extremely nice. They called me “honey” and “sweetie” and every other cute name in the book, which got annoying after a while. Anyway, after talking to the nurses they all had the same conclusion, when you come to Lenox Hill, you come for the doctor not the facility, and my doctor is truly amazing! Not only does he have the best reputation in the city, but also a really great bedside manner. He manages to remember tons of small details about his patients, like their date of birth and their unlisted given names. He has delivered the babies of some very outstanding New Yorkers. The only caveat is that he does not take insurance, but I assure you, his rates are very reasonable. Dr. S. is my hero!!
The surgery was a success, and now I just have to hang in there until February. Next time I will be very particular about my stay in the hospital. Rumor has it that Beyoncé paid to renovate an entire floor of the hospital to make it look like the Four Seasons for her delivery of Blue Ivy. Spending the night there is not cheap, and of course, no insurance covers it, but $1700 per night is worth saving when it’s the biggest day of your life!!